Children in Canada who are battling neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, have been granted new hope toward a better prognosis and long-term survival. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s consortium, known as Beat Childhood Cancer (BCC), announced today that through a partnership with The C17 Council, the organization’s first Canadian clinical trial site, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has been approved to begin recruiting patients for a pivotal clinical trial investigating the potential of a repurposed drug to prevent relapse in patients diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma who are currently in remission.
DFMO (eflornithine HCl) has been commissioned by the World Health Organization for decades in the treatment of patients with African sleeping sickness and has a robust safety profile for use in children. Through translational research, it was discovered that a common pathway in neuroblastoma tumors may be inhibited by DFMO. This discovery led to a Phase I clinical trial in a handful of patients. The results were promising, and led to a subsequent trial that further demonstrated possible patient benefit. Historically, about 40 percent of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma relapse within four years; on the initial study less than 15 percent of children receiving DFMO relapsed.
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